Joseph Bruno founded this company in 1932. As the company grew steadily, 10 stores were opened in the year 1959 under Bruno’s Inc. In 1970, Bruno’s opened up 29 more stores all over Alabama and became publicly traded in 1971.
In 1972, Bruno’s started Food World (a chain of discount grocery stores) and Consumer Foods (a chain of warehouse-oriented grocery stores), which was later changed to Food Fair in 1983. In 1984, Bruno’s opened its first FoodMax stores. The company did a considerable expansion in northern Georgia and Florida when it bought PWS Holding Construction, basically acquiring 58 Piggly Wiggly grocery stores. Bruno’s then went into a joint venture with K-mart in opening three American Fare hypermarkets between 1989 and 1991 in Georgia, North Carolina and Mississippi.
From the late 1980s to December of 1991, the recession and a tragic plane crash dealt major blows to Bruno’s. The combination of low profits and the loss of the company’s leaders resulted in a crash of the company’s stock price, from a high of $21 to around $12 in 1993. As sales continued to remain sluggish throughout 1993 and 1994, Bruno’s stock price went back and forth, from $7 to $10 which made it ready for a takeover. Bruno’s was eventually taken over by Kohlberg Kravis Robers & Co. (KKR) in 1995, making Crimson Associates L.P. (a subsidiary of KKR) its new owner. This did not revive the struggling company however. By early 1988, Bruno’s filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection.
By January of 2000, Bruno’s emerged from bankruptcy under the name Bruno’s Supermarkets, with a new chairman, Terry Peets. In the years that followed however, Bruno’s was again bought and sold by different companies, in the hopes of reviving it. Among the companies who took ownership of Bruno’s for a period of time was AHold USA, Lone Star Funds and C&S Wholesale Grocers. C&S Wholesale Grocers ran the stores that it bought under its partner Southern Family Markets.
By mid-2009, 31 of Bruno’s Supermarkets were absorbed into the Southern Family Markets chain. Southern Family Markets has also bought the rights to the banners of Bruno’s, Food Fair, Food World, Vincent’s Markets and FoodMax.
Headquarters: Birmingham, Alabama
Operated by Southern Family Markets
No. of Stores: more than 55 stores
Annual Revenue: undisclosed
No. of Employees: 1001 – 5000
Demography: Value Shoppers
Special Services: pharmacy, grocery store, beauty and health shop